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Kentucky vs. Iowa picks and best bets for Music City Bowl

The Wildcats and Hawkeyes meet in a game that will set betting records for offensive futility before kickoff.

Nebraska v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats and Iowa Hawkeyes meet up in the Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 31 in Nashville, Tennessee. The game kicks off at 12:00 p.m. ET, and will air on ABC.

The Wildcats started their season strong, but lost five of their last seven games. Quarterback Will Levis was the star of Kentucky’s show this year, and will not be participating in the bowl game after declaring for the NFL Draft.

The Hawkeyes combined one of the worst offenses in college football with one of the best defenses in the sport for some interesting results and lots of unders. They beat Purdue, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and will also be playing without their starting QB in Nashville.

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Iowa -2.5
Total: 31
Moneyline: Iowa -130, Kentucky +110

Opening line: Kentucky -3
Opening total: 31.5

Key players that have opted-out, injuries for Music City Bowl

Kentucky

  • OT Kiyaunta Goodwin (transfer portal)
  • WR DeMarcus Harris (transfer portal)
  • RB Ramon Jefferson (transfer portal)
  • QB Will Levis (opt-out)
  • QB Will Levis (opt-out)
  • WR Chris Lewis (transfer portal/Injury)
  • WR Chauncey Magwood (transfer portal)
  • WR Tayvion Robinson (injury)
  • RB Chris Rodriguez (opt-out)
  • RB Kavosiey Smoke (transfer portal)
  • TE Keaton Upshaw (transfer portal)
  • CB Carrington Valentine (opt-out)
  • OG John Young (transfer portal)

Iowa

  • S Reggie Bracy (transfer portal)
  • WR Arland Bruce IV (transfer portal)
  • CB Cooper Dejean (injury)
  • LB Jestin Jacobs (transfer portal)
  • WR Keagan Johnson (transfer portal)
  • TE Sam LaPorta (injury)
  • S Kaevon Merriweather (Opt-out)
  • QB Alex Padilla (transfer portal)
  • QB Spencer Petras (injury)
  • CB Terry Roberts (transfer portal)
  • OL Josh Volk (transfer portal)
  • RB Gavin Williams (transfer portal)

Weather

59 degrees, rain, 7 MPH winds W

The Pick

Iowa -2.5

The under is also a good pick here, despite the insanely low total, but Iowa should be able to shut this one down. Kentucky is losing their biggest weapon, while the Hawkeyes are losing a QB who often struggled to get positive yardage. With the Iowa defense shutting down a crippled Wildcats offense, the Iowa offense won’t need to do too much to cover this spread. Expect a punt-fest.